In search of Wisdom
Greetings precious people, I do hope that you are doing well today and rejoicing in the goodness of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are presently going through the Book of Proverbs as we are studying the subject of wisdom. We left off in the middle of chapter three, as we looked at how the wise person accepts correction and discipline from the Lord and benefits from it, verses the fool who rejects and despises it and is the worse for it.
Lets pick up now in Proverbs 3:13-18, “Happy is the man who finds wisdom,
And the man who gains understanding; For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her. Length of days is in her right hand, in her left hand riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who retain her.”
Here again we find King Solomon, the author of Proverbs, personifying wisdom. He likens wisdom to a good woman. Through this, he expresses the great value there is in true wisdom, wisdom that comes from above, and wisdom that comes from God.
Look at what is gained by the person that finds wisdom and understanding, happiness. Think of all the unhappiness that people have experienced as they have listened to and followed the wisdom of the world. The so called ‘experts’ in the financial world that promised to make us rich if we would just follow their ‘wise’ counsel. Most of those that have followed such wisdom have found themselves to lose their life savings at worst and a few hundred dollars at best. Then there are the ‘experts’ in the field of psychotherapy that have ruined countless lives, families, and reputations as they have given their “wisdom” to us.
Happiness, true lasting happiness can only be found through a close walk with Jesus Christ. Look at what Jesus has to say concerning happiness. In John 13:13-17, “Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”
Don’t misunderstand dear ones, the focus of what will make you happy is not that of washing someone’s stinky dirty feet, rather it is obeying the Lord Jesus Christ in what He has said. What specifically is it that Jesus has told us to do in the context of the previous verses? Simply put, love one another as Jesus has loved us and serve one another. This calls for getting your eyes off of yourself, having at the top of your priorities satisfying your own wants and desires.
There is one sure way of being unhappy and miserable, that of focusing upon yourself and what you want. Some time ago I came across a recipe for being miserable, and I would like to share it with you. It is entitled, How to be Miserable “ Think about yourself. Talk about yourself. Use “I” as often as possible. Mirror yourself continually in the opinion of others. Listen greedily to what people say about you. Be suspicious. Expect to be appreciated. Be jealous and envious. Be sensitive to slights. Never forgive a criticism. Trust nobody but yourself. Insist on consideration and the proper respect. Demand agreement with your own views on everything. Sulk if people are not grateful of you for favors shown to them. Never forget a service you may have rendered. Be on the lookout for a good time for yourself. Shirk your duties if you can. Do as little as possible for others as you can. Love yourself supremely. Be selfish. This recipe is guaranteed to be infallible.”
In the following verses we see the relationship that wisdom has with God and what relationship it should have with us. Proverbs 3:19-26, “The LORD by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding He established the heavens; By His knowledge the depths were broken up, and clouds drop down the dew. My son, let them not depart from your eyes- keep sound wisdom and discretion; So they will be life to your soul and grace to your neck. Then you will walk safely in your way, and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden terror, nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes;
For the LORD will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught.”
Think of the universe in which we live and the little tiny speck of dust called planet earth on which we live. How many complex intricacies there are upon which we rely upon in order to live. Here in our text Solomon makes mention of just a few. Think of the design of the earth in relation to the sun. If we were just a little further away from the sun we would not be able to exist because it would be too cold and if we were just a little closer, we would be crispy critters. God has not only placed us in the perfect position for life to exist but He also keeps us in just the right position. He keeps us rotating around the sun at a constant speed and distance every year.
Another area that Solomon touches on is the amazing properties that govern the laws of H2O, (water). When I consider how God established the various laws concerning water, I am truly amazed. Think of how during the process of evaporation, the H2O in our oceans turn to a gas form but leaves the salt content behind, then rises to form clouds to be carried over the land to water the ground many miles away from the ocean. (it is much more complex than this but we do not have space to go into it now.)
Then there is the wisdom God revealed when H2O becomes a solid (ice). Rather than becoming heavier in solid form and sink, which would kill all life form beneath it, water when it freezes, (becomes a solid) becomes lighter and floats, allowing life to continue beneath the surface and actually acts as insulation from the cold temperatures above the water.
It is a true tragedy that man refuses to recognize the reality of the masterful design that God has made when He created the universe. Instead, in his own wisdom, attributes it to chance, evolution, big bang, or any other number of foolish ideas he claims brought us all into existence.
When we accept the truths of the wisdom of God and embrace them, then the wonderful promises are all ours. Promises such as are mentioned in verses 23-26, “Then you will walk safely in your way, and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden terror, nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; For the LORD will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught.”
Tell me dear one, when you lie your head down on the pillow at night, are you at rest and peace? Is your sleep sweet? Are you afraid of sudden terror or troubled by the wicked? Where is your confidence today? Is it in yourself and what you are capable of doing, in your savings account, in your good health and soundness of mind? These can all be taken away from you in a moment’s time.
Don’t lean on your own understanding, turn to the Lord and trust in Him with all of your heart. Let Him lead and guide your life. Next time we will continue to study the subject of wisdom through the book of Proverbs. Until then, may the Lord richly bless you beloved.
If you have any questions, comments, or prayer requests you can contact me at: Calvary Chapel of Alpine, P.O. Box 1528, Alpine, Ca. 91903 or call 619-445-2589, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our web site to read all previous articles at www.calvarychapel.org/alpine/index.htm
Drew Macintyre is pastor of Calvary Chapel of Alpine